Length of service and outsourcing in Vietnam: when IT services companies keep silent

Sophie Lelarge


2 years and 1 month. This is the average length of service of our collaborators within Pentalog Vietnam. For the IT services companies in particular employee retention has always been a sensitive indicator that is hardly disclosed. Why do we find it so hard to talk about this topic? Because besides all that can be implemented in terms of capitalization, knowledge verticalization, and quality assurance system, the value of an IT services company will always be linked to its ability to be fully aware of its resources. Integrating newly recruited manpower, irrespective of their length of service, into a new team always represents a risk that IT services companies must try to minimize as much as possible.

That is why the average length of service of 2 years and 1 month for a delivery center that started its activity only 4 years ago is an achievement that we are quite proud of, particularly if we take into account the following factors playing against us:

  • The vitality of the IT market in Vietnam, which needs no proof. According to the latest Tholon report, Vietnam is the 8th IT outsourcing destination in the world, a ranking that keeps improving as the years pass by. New services companies are founded or opened here every year. The Vietnamese market is also characterized by endless opportunities and constant demands. In this context, it’s easy to see why an engineer doesn’t stay forever in a place that doesn’t satisfy him.
  • Should I dare to add to all of the above the natural impulse to expect everything right away? Those small restaurants offering you their only dish before you even have the time to sit at the table, the continuous flow and the flexible rules … everything here makes you feel impatient! Vietnam knows very well how to make you become again that moody child who wants things to be done immediately.
  • “Few” holidays. If you are familiar with Pentalog, then you must know our team bearing sessions, and you might have already seen our events photos, etc… We also celebrate these holidays in Vietnam. Would you believe me if I said that we have an internal badminton league, that we organize summer holidays at the seaside every year (paid for all our employees), and that despite all our involvement we are still slightly under the Vietnamese standards? In Vietnam the company seen as a bigger family concept reaches a level not always approved by foreign companies.

Then, how come we manage to retain our employees?

  • We have a reputation based on seriousness and professionalism. All the foreign companies benefit from this aura in Vietnam, but this is even more true in the case of Pentalog. Most of the topics we are working on have been previously tackled by our Romanian or Moldovan delivery centers. Our clients have already had at least one business experience with Pentalog before choosing Vietnam, they are familiar with our quality system and expect the same from a different destination. Our collaborators obviously cannot remain indifferent to this excellence requirement.
  • We prefer a limited range of junior profiles. In Vietnam it is quite common that young engineers with 2 years of experience have been employed already by 4 or 5 different companies. Believe it or not, this is not considered a bad thing! For Pentalog, it is extremely risky to build a professional relationship with this kind of candidates. Thus we never recruit from this category of profiles. This is certainly a more costly choice for our clients, but which has turned out to be very rewarding until now.
  • We are transparent. Pentalog would surely count on a smaller productivity if the transparency principle so often invoked when it comes to our clients wasn’t prevailing at internal level. Explaining to our collaborators what an average daily rate is, how structural costs or the resources modifications within a team might affect the project or the delivery center’s profitability – in short, offering them this budgetary and complementary view over their daily operational activities – this is what really might set us apart. Simply put, one is more responsible and more involved when not treated as a moody child.
  • We are open to criticism. Our management, in particular, usually has the ability to recognize its weaknesses or occasional errors. This is an out of the ordinary approach in the Asian context where hierarchy is not just an empty word and where criticism is rarely encouraged.

These are, in just a few words, the factors that might explain our great results in terms of employee retention. And that is why,  in order to preserve these figures, we reserve ourselves the right to refuse any new projects involving the recruitment of new collaborators. We consider it a legitimate choice that will pay off in the future. You’ll most definitely prove us right 🙂

Check our IT outsourcing development offer in Vietnam and our “One step beyond” offer if you want to reduce your IT development costs by up to 70% while keeping a constant quality.


Tag: outsourcing, outsourcing Vietnam